Multiple-input power converters


Previous technologies are using either multiple power converters or multiple-input power converters as interfaces among sources and load. The utilization of multiple power converters generally required higher cost than multiple-input power converter. Two techniques to handle multiple-input power conversion are: soft-switching power converters, or multiple-input isolated power converters. Generally, soft-switching is more efficient than hard switching, and isolated power converters provide a wider range of source-to-load voltage transfer ratio. In both techniques there is the expectation that there will be a higher number of converter components.

Technology description

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed two techniques for multiple-input sources: multiple-input soft-switching power converters (SSPC), and multiple-input isolated power converters (IPC).

For the SSPC invention, the power converter implements soft-switching techniques there by reducing the converter switching loses and increasing the converter efficiency while using fewer components than presently designed multiple-input power converters. Such a power converter may include multiple input sources, where serially connected switches are coupled to one of the multiple-input sources in an input leg. A voltage blocking capacitor is inserted between these input legs. Furthermore, the power converter includes a transformer for isolating the load from the multiple input sources, where the voltage blocking capacitor is connected to the primary winding of the transformer.

For the IPC invention, the multiple-input power converter utilizes a push-pull converter that isolates loads from sources by a transformer in the output rectifier stage. The isolation increases the safety of the system and provides a wider range of sources-to-load voltage transfer ratios. Furthermore, the multiple-input power converter utilizes a lower number of components in comparison to previously designed multiple-input power converter topologies as well as has a lower control circuit implementation cost when compared to previously designed soft-switching multiple-input power converters.

Potential advantages

  • Lower cost, unified control, and compact packing when compared to a multiple source system with single input power converters
  • Wider range of source-to-load voltage transfer ratio when compared to non-isolated multiple input power converters
  • A lower number of components than other multiple input soft switching power converters
  • For the SSPC, there is lower loss compared to hard switching, and, for the IPC, there is lower input switch voltage stress.